Do you have a street hockey game coming up?
Maybe you’ve got your stick already, or you need to pick one up.
But… you’re wondering…
Do I need to tape my street hockey stick?
You’re not going to be playing on ice. You’ll be playing on the road (asphalt).
Will the tape make your blade stick on the road? Will no tape make it hard to stickhandle?
Will your stick get damaged?
In this article, we’ll let you know whether you should tape your street hockey stick or not (including pros and cons)… plus exactly how you should prepare your stick before the game.
Plus, if you’re wanting to know more about dominating your next street hockey game, make sure to check out this article I wrote: Can You Use an Ice Hockey Stick for Street Hockey?
Let’s dive in.
Here’s Whether You Should Tape Your Street Hockey Stick:
Taping a street hockey stick can protect your blade and help you handle the puck. But, if it’s too hot out, the ball is likely to stick too much to your blade. Plus, having tape on the bottom of your blade can make your blade slow down. It’s best to tape the face of your stick, not the bottom.
Pros: Why Should You Tape Your Street Hockey Stick?
Taping your stick could make your blade stick to the ground more, making it harder to stickhandle. It could also make it harder to handle the ball if it’s too hot out.
But, there are some major benefits to using tape on your street hockey stick.
So, what are the benefits?
Well, if you watch NHL games, you’ll notice that almost every player uses tape on the blade and shaft of their stick. This isn’t done for style. And it’s not to keep the stick held together.
Instead, players will tape their stick to improve their game.
Better Grip on the Stick Shaft
When you’re playing hockey, you have to be in control of your stick. If you lose control of the puck, you’ll lose possession and set up the other team to score.
Hockey players tape their sticks in two areas: the shaft (at the top) and the blade (at the bottom).
Taping the shaft is good to ensure your top hand properly grips to the stick. You should always tape the shaft of your stick for your top hand, even if you don’t tape your blade.
If your stick moves around too much in your hands, it’ll make it harder to handle the puck, harder to take away the puck from opponents, and make or receive a pass.
When you tape your street hockey stick shaft, you should have a better handle of your stick.
Better Control of the Ball / Puck
As mentioned above, the name of the game in hockey is control.
When you can control the ball better, you control the game.
Taping your street hockey stick on the blade, it will help you keep the ball on the end of your stick.
Reduces Wear & Tear
The third reason people like to use tape on their street hockey stick is because it can help your stick last longer.
Without anything on the bottom of your stick (the blade), you’ll notice your stick will break down faster. This is because asphalt or concrete is a lot more rough than playing on ice.
Taping your blade can make your stick last longer (although the tape on your blade will usually break down after a game or two of street hockey).
Tape Is Better With a Street Hockey Puck
In street hockey, an orange ball made from PVC is typically used.
However, sometimes street hockey is played with a street hockey puck that’s much harder.
If you know you’ll be playing with an orange ball, it’s better to go without tape as tape can prevent the ball from rolling around on your blade.
But, if you’re playing with a street hockey puck, it’s best to have some tape on your blade to better grip the puck.
Cons: Why Shouldn’t You Tape Your Street Hockey Stick?
The main benefits to putting tape on your street hockey stick is to help you handle the puck and reduce the wear and tear on your blade.
However, taping your blade up can come at a cost.
Here are the disadvantages of taping your street hockey stick:
You’ll Have Slower Stick Handling
When you tape the blade of your street hockey stick, it can help you control the ball better. But, the downside is that you create a ton of friction against the pavement, causing your blade to slow down.
On ice, using hockey tape isn’t a problem since ice is such a smooth surface. It won’t slow down your blade.
But, on the road, tape creates tons of friction against the pavement which slows your blade down when you’re stickhandling. Plus, your tape can even cause your blade to get jammed up and stuck, making your stickhandling less smooth.
The Ball Can Stick To Your Blade Too Much
There’s nothing better than playing street hockey on a sunny day.
But, if it gets too hot out during the summer months, it can cause your tape to get a bit too sticky.
And, if you’re playing with an orange street hockey ball, they can get really soft and squishy in hot weather.
When the ball is softer and your tape gets a bit too sticky, it can cause the ball to stick to your blade too much, making it harder to stickhandle.
No Tape Is Better With a Street Hockey Ball
If you’ll be playing your street hockey game with a street hockey puck, there’s a bigger advantage to using tape as it can grip the puck better.
However, if you’re using an orange PVC street hockey ball, you’ll probably want to go tapeless. Tape doesn’t do as well with the orange hockey balls as it can make it so the ball doesn’t roll properly (due to too much grip).
What Kind of Tape Should You Use for a Street Hockey Stick?
If you decide to tape your street hockey stick—don’t just grab the closest tape in your house.
Regular masking tape or duct tape will not work.
You’ll need hockey tape
It’s a slightly grippy cloth tape you can get online or from your local hockey shop that typically comes in either black or white.
How Do You Tape a Street Hockey Stick?
There are a few ways you can tape your street hockey stick.
I’ll go over the three main tape methods and the benefits of each:
“Regular” Tape Job
1. Start With the Toe of Your Blade
First, you’ll start with the end of your blade (the toe). Most players like to start about an inch from the very tip. You can use your finger as a guideline.
2. Tape Towards the Heel
Then, start taping from the toe towards the heel. You’ll want to slightly angle the tape towards the heel. Stop just before you get to the bend (where your blade connects to your shaft).
3. Tape the Shaft
Now, move up to the butt end of your stick on the shaft.
Tape a grippy knob on the end of your stick.
You can go around a bunch of times on the top to create a knob (as a slight handle).
Then, start anywhere from 6 inches to a foot down from the knob and work your way up the shaft towards the knob. Remember to angle the tape slightly in the direction you’re taping the stick.
4. Optional: Wax Your Tape
Once you’re done, you can also use hockey wax to wax your tape, giving it even more grip when your stick hits the ball or puck.
Horizontal “Street” Tape Job
The second method of taping your stick for street hockey is the horizontal method.
This is where you simply tape the front and back of your blade horizontally rather than wrapping it vertically (the normal way).
To do this, simply rip off enough tape to cover the front of your blade. You may need two or three strips. It’s okay if they overlap. Just remember, you’re not taping the top or bottom of your blade at all.
Once you’ve done the front, do the same thing on the back.
This method allows you to keep your street hockey stick nice and grippy for stickhandling, but keeps the bottom open so you can move your stick around easier on the pavement.
The major downside to this method is that you’ll wear your blade down much faster.
Looking for the right tape for street hockey? Check out our top 5 hockey tape alternatives!
ABS Stick With No Tape
The third option is to simply go without any tape.
This is one of the most common street hockey styles.
However, this method is only recommended if you’re using an ABS blade on your street hockey stick.
ABS blades are made specifically to be able to withstand the wear and tear of asphalt or pavement. They’re built differently than wood or composite sticks that break down easily on rough surfaces.
ABS blades without tape are also the best option for stickhandling an orange street hockey ball—especially when it’s hot out.
They’ll last way longer than wood or composite sticks when you’re playing a lot of street hockey. We recommend the Franklin Sports Power X Street Hockey Stick that comes with an ABS blade.
How Do You Protect Your Street Hockey Stick?
Your hockey stick will last a long time on the ice.
However, playing on a rough surface like a road will wear down your blade much faster
So, how do you protect your hockey stick from pavement?
One of the best options is Hockey Wraparound.
This is a nifty product made specifically for playing street hockey to protect the bottom of your blade for a long time.
Some people have even used it a few times a week for a year without their blade breaking down. This saves a ton of money on buying new sticks every few weeks.
Looking to play more street hockey? The most important piece of equipment for roller hockey is your roller blades. Don’t forget to check out our article on the 3 Best Roller Hockey Skates available!